The reason for this title is the surprise with which we discovered in the consultation how the people who ask us for help are influenced by family and social values, sometimes acting as a trench or refuge from the problem they bring, and other times reinforcing torture. suffering.
Although the concept of morality has a religious tint, we will lean on it to illustrate what happens when personal values become rigid and do not admit second chances, marking an explosive red line between what is right and what is wrong. And it is that people who live at the crossroads may be forced by the context to act against their own schemes, generating suffering and crises that are very difficult to resolve.
In this article, we will explain what happens when guidelines or norms that lead to anguish are forged inside of a person and how it can be solved to finally allow yourself a break and move forward with ease. At the end of the day, that’s what resilience is, dealing with adverse events successfully.
- Related article: ” What is morality? Discovering the development of ethics in childhood“
The importance of values in psychotherapy
We consider values as those ideas, attitudes, philosophies to which the person gives value ; And if it is also consistent with these values, it is the person himself who gains value in his own eyes.
It does not matter much if the values come from social, family or cultural norms, the important thing is that they take hold in the human being, strengthening his ability to resolve the conflicts that life poses to him, generating security and motivating the search for experiences that add to the human being in your repertoire of pleasant memories.
Although the opposite can also happen, that they do not strengthen the human being but crucify him and strip him of his dignity. This is the case of people who feel that they must strictly abide by their values, be successful, be responsible and good people, etc. In these cases there is discomfort, sometimes like a mallet on his head that dictates sentence, other times like a knife that stabs his heart, and the pain is unbearable, because it is never enough whatever they do: there are always mistakes that point out, setbacks to punish , and failures that warn like a bad omen.
Likewise, there may also be an absence of values, resulting in a response of indifference to events. In these cases, psychologically, we would talk about very serious problems that would prevent introspection or a healthy bond with other people.
The difference is critical depending on whether a person’s own relationship with their values leads them to suffering , to comfort or to indifference, since this determines the way of walking towards what is desired, of seeing others, of thinking about alternatives, to resolve conflicts, to look at the past, to contemplate the future, etc.
- You may be interested: ” The 10 types of values: principles that govern our lives“
When values turn against you
Values always start from learning , the same we receive from the people who saw us born, who gave us life and presented us to the world. Emotional Intelligence places a lot of emphasis on this aspect, not so much on what to teach, but on how to teach it, from which point of view or emotional state.
We usually meet people in consultation who try to resolve conflicts with themselves, and not only with the event that has unbalanced them. As we listen to them, we perceive what is the way of speaking . That is, they can criticize themselves for not having acted, express that they will never be able to express what they feel, stay anchored in “I don’t want to think about it, no, no, no …”. When we go deeper and the patients are aware of this way of communicating with themselves, we find that relationship with their referents.
These problems are frequent having lived with parents who were afraid when their child suffered and responded with anxiety (“don’t worry, don’t worry!”), Or who firmly believed “the letter with blood enters” (“ If you do not study, I will enroll you in a military school so that you learn to value the effort “), or that due to the economic burden and the pressure of work they could not be aware of the emotional state of their children (having them so young to solve conflicts without wanting to tell anyone).
If no one has paid attention to this learning, these boys and girls will reach an adult world in which they will surely replicate this way of relating, increasing the probability of developing anxiety disorders, depression and obsessive disorders , which are generally illnesses resulting from a system that cannot cope with all the remains that are presented to it.
When values become virtue and resilience
Safe, calm and attentive referents, transmit the same values, but in this sense there is a great difference. Safety does not mean in any case “whatever happens you can with everything” , Mr. Wonderful style message that transmits anxiety beyond the overstimulation that produces an illusion of control. The true meaning of security, as an emotional state, is to know how to be present, whether things are going well or not, you are right or wrong, since what is really important is the relationship, not the result.
An adult who recognizes that he is wrong, even if he fucks, is a safe adult, since his son or daughter will look at him with the same eyes, they will observe “what has happened” when he has failed or has been hurt, and will leave a aside the “what have you done”, that message so counterproductive that it is loaded with guilt.
What are you transmitting from security? That there is always a choice, that not everything is fighting, that you can surrender to lick your wounds, that the strength is in tranquility and not in aggressiveness, that dissenting from the opinion of the adult is a right, that you are loved both in good times and bad.
Patients who have received this type of Secure Attachment are able to experience what is outside their internal norms to explore more options and not fall into eternal punishment, learn from the result and be able to always choose, fundamental to adapt to the world.
What can be done when the battle of courage makes you suffer?
Although we have focused on fathers and mothers as references, all people can exercise how to fall into the mistakes we have seen. And that is the key, that values are reinforced when they work with other people . We are social beings, we need others, even if they have the capacity to harm us, hence the benefit of being selective.
Anyone who has grown up with internal messages that block him, hurt him, saturate him … has had positive experiences on his own, part of the growth process (experiences at university, related to work, sports, art, with being a father or mother, etc.), only that his brain until now only selected those memories that are closely linked to the internal messages, hence when they come to consultation they express that “I have always been wrong”.
Teaching that mind with resources its own abilities is part of the work we do in Therapeutics on the Rise , transmitting security from calm and professionalism, always respecting what the suffering person wants to achieve, maintaining their own values, which always functioned as a whip that imposed the punishment, and now they will become that companion who helps, with effort and perseverance, to pave the way to a possible future.